Business

Saturday 20 September 2014

EU recalled more than 2,300 perilous products last year

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30

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Dishwashers were among items recalled
Dishwashers were among items recalled

More than 2,300 dangerous products were recalled from sale in Europe last year because they posed a risk to consumers.

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Toys and clothes dominated the list of dodgy items, followed by electrical appliances, cars and cosmetics, new EU figures show.

This included some 122 different products withdrawn in Ireland, which sparked 27 recalls in other countries which also received the perilous goods.

The EU's rapid alert system (RAPEX) saw a 3.8pc increase in recalls last year, with some 2,364 dangerous products withdrawn from sale. Clothing and toys accounted for half of all the recalls, followed by electrical goods at 9pc, cars at 7pc and cosmetics at 4pc.

Choking, strangulation or chemical dangers were the most common problems identified leading to withdrawals.

However, in Ireland, electrical appliances were the most common source of problems last year, followed by communications equipment such as docking stations, childcare articles, cosmetics and toys.

Dishwashers that could go on fire, a faulty seatbelt mechanism in some Citroen Berlingos, and Thermia heat pumps that posed a fire risk were among the products recalled.

Products aimed at children withdrawn here included facepaint of unknown origin that contained lead, and Honey Bean amber teething necklaces and bracelets that could break and choke a child.

Almost two-thirds of the products recalled throughout Europe were made in China or Hong Kong, with 15pc coming from European countries and 10pc of unknown origin.

The European Consumer Organisation, Beuc, said that the high rate of recalls showed dangerous products were continuing to slip through the net.

TRACEABILITY

"When a faulty product is spotted it should be traced all the way back along the supply chain to eliminate the risk of it showing up in other shops or countries. All too often this traceability is patchy," said Beuc director general Monique Goyens.

Important changes forcing manufacturers and importers to put their addresses on products are being held up by disagreements between member states which was an "unacceptable block on our efforts to make consumer products safer", she said.

EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy, Neven Mimica, said that Rapex was a success story which allowed EU states to quickly share information on potentially dangerous products. The system was set up in 2003 and had grown from just 200 notifications a year to more than 2,000.

Irish Independent

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